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How To Spot Dropsy In Pearlscales


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This is based on my crowned pearlie Red (who very kindly agreed to pose) and how I spot that he has dropsy, those pearls can make it tricky.

One of the first signs I always keep an eye out for is uneven-ness in the roundness, see those bulges? That's stored fluid.



In pearlies they don't have the same capability to swell and pinecone as a 'normal' shaped fish, so the fluid pops out in little bubbles from between their scales, particularly on their bottom back half under their tail, I've seen this before on our tiku pearlscale too. DON'T try to pop them, they'll either pop or go down on their own.



There's only one place on Red I've ever been able to be certain the scales are pineconed, and that's on the top between his head and his dorsal fin where the pearling is much less (it's gone down now so I don't have any pics). His crown also changes size depending on how much fluid he's storing up (it's bigger than normal at the moment) but that's not a possible notification for tikus.

Red also has black markings on his crown and fins, one on his body, and blood patches showing up through his scales, these aren't symptoms of dropsy but do confirm there is a problem. Part of diagnosis is knowing what is normal for your fish.

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Yeah, that's him today, he's still pretty chipper and eating well, and is believe it or not better than he was.

Red appreciates the sympathy, though this was supposed to be a reference thread :rofl

Edited by devilduck
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About the crown puffing up; I have noticed puffiness on the head (where the crown would be) on other types of fish during dropsy as well. I think all fish have a small area on top of their head where they have a patch of wen material. I suppose this is what people have exploited to create the large and fantastic wens of orandas and crowned pearlscales through selective breeding.

So sometimes when a wenless fish has dropsy, this area will become puffy and raised up because the fish is holding fluid.

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